Hemel Hempstead employer announces record payout to shareholders

Hans Van Blyen, chief executive of consumer goods giant Henkel.
Hans Van Blyen, chief executive of consumer goods giant Henkel.

Consumer goods giant Henkel which employs about 180 people in Hemel Hempstead has announced a record dividend payout to shareholders.

The company, which has its UK headquarters in Wood Lane End, blamed a fall in its sales figures on changes in the currency exchanges.

Henkel’s figures for the fiancial year 2018, show a 0.6 per cent drop in turnover to 19.9 billion euros while its operating profit rose by one per cent to 3.5 million euros .

However, its organic sales, which exclude the impact of foreign exchange effects and acquisitions and divestments, rose by 2.4 per cent.

This enabled the company to announce its dividend to shareholders would rise by 3.4 per cent to 1.85 euro per preferred share and 1.83 euros per ordinary share.

It will be the highest dividend payment made by the 140-year-old company.

Hans Van Bylen, chief executive of the German based company, which operates worldwide with brands that include Schwarzkopf Hair Care, Pritt, Sellotape and Loctite, said: “In 2018, we continued to deliver profitable growth for Henkel.

“We achieved good organic growth with new highs in earnings and profitability.

“At the same time, we faced substantial negative currency effects as well as increasing direct material prices.”

Henkel brought its UK operations under one roof in Hemel Hempstead five years ago when it moved to its £9 million offices at Technologies House.

About 400 staff across the UK report into the head office with 180 based on site.

For the year ahead, Mr Van Bylen said Henkel expected an organic sales growth of between two and four per cent.

He said: “We are convinced Henkel is well-positioned for the future.

“With our increased investments in brands, technologies, innovations and digitalisation, we are emphasising our commitment to deliver sustainable profitable growth.”